Embossed envelope stamped “TIVOLI N.Y. JUN” and “22” written by hand inside the stamp. Also stamped “PAID” addressed to Miss Mary E Knickerbocker Care of Jacob C Tooker Po’keepsie N.Y.

Embossed envelope stamped “TIVOLI N.Y. JUN” and “22” written by hand inside the stamp. Also stamped “PAID” addressed to Miss Mary E Knickerbocker Care of Jacob C Tooker Po’keepsie N.Y.

Mahala Clarke b. c. 1835 was daughter of Consider (b. c. 1808 in MA) and Mahala (b. c. 1806 in MA) Clarke. Pa lived to at least 1880 and Ma died 26 Mar 1879. The girl who wrote this letter died 17 Jul 1856 at 21 years old. Her sister Sarah (b. c. 1842) married Rev. Edward Tompkins (1830-1905) and did not have any children that survived to adulthood. They are buried at the Old Red Church cemetery in Tivoli. She was about 18 years old when she wrote this letter.


Tivoli June   /53 [seems there’s a space for the date, envelope is marked 22]

My dear Mary,

You must excuse my writing and everything else, for my pen is very poor, and the weather very warm; It is Sunday afternoon and I have just returned from the Methodist church, and thought that I would employ my time in writing to you. I can not think of anything that will be very interesting to you notwithstanding I suppose I must fulfil my promise to you. On Thursday evening I had a call from Henry Arthur, Sarah & Jane Nelson together with two ladies from Po’keepsie Mrs. Moore & Nicholas. I returned with them to Mrs. Moore’s and partook of ice cream and when we were coming home we discovered a small snake in the road.

We went to Po’keepsie according to our intentions when you were home but as Pa’ was with us and had to returned with the 11 o’clock train and we had accomplished our shopping Ma’ chose to return with him and of course I had nothing to do but submit and come home. I was very sorry, for I had intended to have called and seen you and Mrs. Blum[?]

Probably I may be down again in the course of the summer and if I should again have that pleasure, intend calling to see you

Will you be home on the fourth of July or not? I suppose you have given up the idea of being homesick and perhaps nearly forgotten Tivoli friends by this time, your time being occupied with studies and law students across the way.

Your Aunt Emeline and Miss Amanda Lasher called here yesterday afternoon and your Aunt was saying that they had heard from Elizabeth Chapman and she expected Sarah and her uncle & Aunt there Saturday that was yesterday and home Wednesday.

Obituary of Mrs. Mahala Clarke, this girl's mother

Obituary of Mrs. Mahala Clarke, this girl’s mother – click to enlarge

I had to hear your Tuesday letter Sunday afternoon and prepare for evening service. Mr. Thompson preached for us yesterday and today has been uncomfortably warm so much so that we hardly knew what to do with ourselves. How has it been with you?

Ma’ was over to your house yesterday and your Ma’* wished me to say to you that they were all well and that she should omit writing to you for a day or two as I was writing to you, Libby & Emily called here a few moments last evening and Libby said that she should write you as soon as Sarah returned and then she might have more interesting reason[?]

We have a Ticket master from Barrytown a Mr. De Groot, Mr. Roose has left.

I think I have exhausted my budget of news tonight as Sarah would say

Pray excuse all imperfections (for they are many) and destroy it as soon as possible

I remain yours faithfully

Mahala Clarke

To Mary E Knickerbacker

PS Please answer as soon as convenient M Clarke


*This is MEK’s step-mother Catherine Sharpe 1821-1893. Her own mother, Eliza Ann Beckwith died in 1843.